The founders of publishing and lifestyle brand OWN IT! have announced their active support for a US-based Black communities group, the Movement for Black Lives. It follows the death of George Floyd on 25th May, as protests over police brutality in the US multiply.
Crystal Mahey-Morgan and Jason Morgan have pledged solidarity with the movement, which consists of collective organisations across America that represent the interests of Black communities. The group has issued a petition calling for the police to be defunded, highlighting that “despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable”.
Own It! is urging people to sign the petition, to focus on an increase in spending on education, health care and community programmes.
In a joint statement, the founders said: “It’s also important that it is acknowledged that systematic and institutionalised racism against Black people is not just an American issue. We have our own longstanding issue with these injustices in the UK from racial profiling to police brutality and murders as well as an ongoing series of government failures—from allowing Grenfell to happen to delaying the report with findings about why Covid-19 is disproportionately causing deaths of Black and Brown people.
"This is a time for us to speak out, support the organisers on the ground in the US and UK and educate ourselves and each other. Art has always been one of our most powerful forms of protest and activism and will always use the Own It! platform to shine a light on the voices working to make our world a better and more just and equal place for all.”
For the month of June, the press will be donating all of its publishing profits to George Floyd’s family.